clearing the future


I just finished reading a book called Evolutionaries by Carter Phipps. It's an interesting read and brings together all the different ways evolution has been happening since, well, the big bang. The evolution of the cosmos, of biological life, of consciousness and culture . . . It's had a subtle but definite effect on my psyche. One that I like! He talks about "breaking the spell of solidity" and seeing the world with "evolutionary eyes".

How it feels is: the future is wide open, unshaped. Here I am, a transitional being in a transitional world in a transitional universe that is constantly changing, evolving and moving forwards . . . and at this point in evolution I am aware that I am part of this forward movement and know that I have the power and choice to take part in determining what is becoming. And while the past is always here and coming with me, moment by moment, the future is where I am going. 

How does it look? How does it feel? 

I'm finding the project of clearing the future a great motivator to do my practice:

Even with all of my personal and ancestral history, and with all of our collective history, I can say YES to the whole thing and dance on into the wide open space of the unshaped FUTURE!




Am I a bit slow? did everyone already realize this?!




August Rhythms

I was inspired by the group of women dancing together at the moondance in Bristol last night. I saw yet again how simple it can be to wake up in the dance and to experience the self in a completely new way. More and more of these waves, these dances, and we don't have time for the old fixed ways of the mind.
I found myself saying again, that the dance is about consciousness. It is a way to liberate ourselves inside our own minds.

Evolution is in the air. It always has been, but I haven't ever been so aware of it as I am now. Having an awareness of the context of evolution is exciting.

Life has been evolving for billions of years.
Now is the culmination of that evolution.
Life will continue to evolve into the future, culmination upon culmination!
My life is just a teeny tiny blink. A breath, a sigh, and then I am gone!

And all the while there is movement, turning, evolving, refining, growing, becoming, shattering, growing more complex more distinct more full more empty more light more awareness more colours more dance more cooperation more richness more contrast more stillness . . . more consciousness

where are we going?
what are we choosing?
how are we being?


let's dance together to know the truth
shrug off the cloak of lies
awaken to our beauty
and seize our freedom.

It's happening now and we need to be here to experience it.
Embodying movement and change

I look forward to meeting you on the dance floor this month.

Classes continue throughout August (6,13,20) in Glastonbury

Bank Holiday August 27 class will be at Court House in Long Sutton TA10 9NE and not in Glastonbury

Welcombe Wave: Saturday August 18

Tuesday 7th August covering for Bernadette at Hamilton House in Bristol

Tuesday 28th August covering for Sue at St George's Church, Tufnell Park, London

In Love

Jean x

The power of repetition

We had an interesting and stimulating discussion at the end of class on Monday, which has given me lots of food for thought. The subject was: repetitive movements, and copying/sharing these movements with others.

The question was: What is the point?

That is a very good question, and some elements of answers did emerge in our brief conversation, and then afterwards I thought of a few more things that I'd like to share here, for those who are interested in 5 Rhythms as a practice.

First and most basic point: clear repetitive movement is essentially a staccato practice. It is useful for bringing "something" out from inside us and giving it a shape. The repetition helps us to feel and explore the energy of that "something" and allow it to become more and more clear. When it has done so, it will dissolve/evolve into something else. This is the way of it.

Doing a repetitive movement is a useful fall back for any of us at any point in the wave. If we become aware that we are disconnected from our dance, we can choose to give a shape to the sensation (or lack of sensation) of that moment and keep repeating it until it changes, and then repeat that until it changes, and so on, and it wont be long before we are back once more in connection with our self and our dance, especially if we can give ourselves 100% to this and be generous with our breath.

Simple repetition is also helpful if we are feeling something difficult, maybe something intense or unpleasant. A simple repetitive movement gives us a safe holding structure as we allow the intense or difficult feelings to move through us and be digested and released by our system.

And there is much more to be said about the value of solo repetitive movement. You might tell your story in a comment below. Please share your reflections.

Partner repetition shares this experience with one other. We see the shape/movement of the other dancer and mirror the movement. We will never copy exactly what the other dancer is doing! We can't! Because each dancer is totally unique. What we can do is be the dance of  "I see you and this movement you are offering me. With curiosity and openness I will join you in it. I will bring my whole self into it, giving my feelings and sensations to this structure you have offered me". Then see what emerges out of that.

Tribal repetition is what we call the practice of one person offering a repeating movement and a group of others following. As in partner repetition, it is an acknowledgement and honouring of anothers movement by the group. It is a surrendering of individual "will" to the greater field. Everybody in the group gets the chance to lead and to follow/support. It is an opportunity for all of us to learn how we dance with the roles of leader and follower/supporter. 

Tribal repetition can take us into the unified field, where we can experience ourselves as one unique and irreplaceable cell in a moving breathing body of beauty, where we are accepted, acknowledged and supported in our individuality. For me, this is a true and alive experience of empowered community.

I want to make it really clear that this is NOT about being the "same" as everyone else (how would that be possible??!) This is NOT about encouraging us to be "Sheople", blindly following the strongest and most compelling energy in a given space. This is about how we can evolve as a community, celebrating our individuality and diversity and moving together in greater and greater cooperation. It is a revolutionary practice.

I hope this helps a little towards clarifying "the point" of repetitions. There is so much to say about it, I have just scratched the surface. It wold be great if you would share your point of view too. 

I am looking forward to exploring this and other practices with a group of committed dancers in a closed group in Glastonbury, starting in the Autumn. More news of that to come . . .

JULY/AUGUST SCHEDULE:

Welcombe Wave in Devon this Saturday July 14th, and then I go to  Sweden for SunDance for the rest of the month. 
Glastonbury class: July 16th with Andrew Holmes 
July 23rd with Bernadette Ryder
July 30th NO CLASS in Glastonbury
I'm back in August for 
MoonDance in Bristol Sunday August 5th 
Glastonbury on August 6th, 13th, 20th (NO CLASS AUG 27)
Covering for Bernadette in Bristol on August 7th.
Covering for Sue Rickards in London August 28th.

Click here for times etc.

5 Rhythms with Jean in June

Hello Everyone!

Greetings and love to all. This post contains info about 5 Rhythms events with me in June. Scroll down to the group/class/workshop you are interested in.

GLASTONBURY

First: a big Thank You to my great team of helpers: Nick, Terry, Justine, Melanie, James, Bruce.
Having missed just one Monday at the Town Hall, it feels like ages, and I am already really excited to be back with you tomorrow night.
After that, I will be missing three mondays in a row! One for the bank holiday (NO CLASS ON JUNE 4!) and then two because I am going away to work at my "day job".
I generally avoid having to miss Mondays for any reason, but there has been less of my day job work for me this year so I have made myself more available for what there is of it, with the result that I will be away on 11 and 18 June. You will be well cared for, as ever, always with qualified 5 Rhythms teachers giving the class. I will also be gone for three Mondays in July while I'm at SunDance. So you have Bernadette, Leigh, Andrew and Neil to look forward to over the next couple of months.
If you ever want to know who is teaching on any given Monday, do check my website

DANCE AWAKE

dance floor

workshop venue
But I don't want to!!!
For so many of us, while we think we are 100% committed to our spiritual awakening and 100% engaging with the path and desire totally to dance our dream awake and know the freedom we sense that will bring . . . we may not be as aware that there is a part of us that really wants nothing of the sort! This can show up as "reasons" not to practice.

Gabrielle Roth made me laugh when she said "There are many reasons not to dance. They have one thing in common: they all suck!"

One thing I love about 5 Rhythms practice is that there is a lot of permission in the space. It is totally fine to show up feeling tired, moody, stiff, in pain, upset, overjoyed, heartbroken, tense, irritable, anxious, smug, self conscious, superior, inferior . . . the list of descriptions of the human condition is endless  . . . What is important is to Show Up. That's all. That's it. Show Up and Let It Move.

On SATURDAY JUNE 9th I am offering the last in my current series of day workshops here at the Court House in Long Sutton TA10 9NE.  This time it's called "DISAPPEAR INTO THE DANCE". It will be an opportunity to "show up and let it move" until "it" has all gone and there is nothing left but the dance; life moving perfectly in, around and all the way through us. 11am-5pm with a break for food rest and quiet in the garden.
Book by sending me an email. £10 deposit/entrance fee then a donation at the end of the day.

BRISTOL MOONDANCE

moondance altar
Women! The third Bristol MoonDance will take place on SUNDAY JUNE 10 in a NEW VENUE at a NEW TIME!
Room number 12 at St Werburgh's was really sweet, but way too small for where we are heading. Last time it was already overcrowded.
So . . . we are moving to the QUAKER MEETING HOUSE in HORFIELD (300 Gloucester Rd) at the later time of 7.45-10pm. £10. Yes, how weird is that, to be out, late, dancing on a Sunday night? Not weird at all I hope, more like really fantastic and I hope to see many many more of you women there. What we are discovering with the moondance is that we women find a different and precious freedom and release in our dance when it is "just us". Being empowered to be our natural, wonderful and amazing selves is good news for you guys too (trust me on that one) so men: send your sisters, girlfriends, mothers and daughters along!

WELCOMBE WAVES


welcombe mouth 13/5/12
 It's just wrong to put you at the bottom of the list: you dance so strongly in my heart!
I ADORE dancing in Welcombe, North Devon, and I love the group that is forming and consolidating so beautifully. Thank you so much to Kirstie and Pete for the support I feel personally from you and the welcome you offer to everyone. Thank you also to Martine for offering to bring along something yummy for us to eat with our cuppa after our next wave on SATURDAY JUNE 16. Kirstie has been baking her delicious brownies and flapjacks for us each month for a year now and we felt it was time for others to get a chance to extend their baking skills! So thanks Martine. And if you would like to be the one at a future wave, just let me know!
PLEASE EMAIL ME TO LET ME KNOW IF YOU ARE COMING TO DANCE ON 16 JUNE. 7-9.30 pm £12/£10 concs

LOTS OF LOVE TO ALL!!!

Jean x x x

Getting On With It

Last week I did a creative writing course with the Arvon Foundation.
Me and fifteen other wannabes (actually that's not fair, I might have been the only wannabe!) and two brilliant published authors sat together in a cosy barn for 5 days doing fun and mind-stretching exercises and writing stories! On the last night we each read a 5 minute piece to the whole group.
I think my proudest moment EVER (we're talking ever in my whole life!) was sitting reading my piece and seeing a Very Famous Prize Winning Novelist who shall, ahem, remain nameless, sitting bolt upright and rapt with attention, hanging on every word of my story!! That, and another Literary God whose work I adore, pointing out what was "brilliant" about my work.
I know I sound effusive and uncool, but I don't care! I want to use the F word it was so F***in' brilliant.
The group was really good fun, we had great laughs together and the tutors were unconditionally supportive of each of us.
I learned so much about the craft of writing and came to glimpse a little of the heartbreaking difficulties facing anyone seeking to create a work of literature.
I guess I thought writing a story/novel was something that some people just magically "knew" how to do. Now I've seen that I could learn to do it too. So much of it is about getting beyond writing as a form of self expression and into the more challenging place of creating something people would want to read. That, and just sitting down and Getting On With It.





Spring Beauty


Yesterday afternoon I headed out for Welcombe in North Devon, where I give a monthly 5 Rhythms class.

It takes nearly two hours to get there by car, and I love the drive, and the dreamspace that opens up as I coast along the open road. Westwards to the M5, then south to the North Devon Link road. The hills begin to roll as I skirt the northern edge of the moor. Deep grey clouds pour brief bursts of torrential rain and I'm dancing with the windscreen wipers: fast, slow, medium, slow, fast.

After Barnstaple, the romantically named Atlantic Highway carries me towards the very wild West. Beyond Bideford the straight highway continues until Fairy Cross after which more care is needed to navigate tight curves and bends. At Welcombe Cross I leave the highway and drive on towards the village. This is the first time in months I have been down here in daylight so I carry on past the village hall and wind my way down the narrow ancient track down a steep hill, beside a forest stream, and along a bumpy lane until I reach the coast.

Walking out towards the beach it is as if I have never been here before. Never seen this outrageously dramatic bay with its stony fingers reaching out into the surf. Never seen these tall cliffs. Never seen the wild white waves of the Atlantic pounding in. Never seen a clean blue sky with a dazzling yellow sun going down. And never felt this cool fresh wind. As I step down the trail I feel myself alone in this vastness.

It turns out I am not alone and I can make out two solitary figures on the beach, each with a tripod, capturing the glory. The light is so bright I can hardly see them, they are camouflaged against the glistening black rock fingers.

I stay for a short while, breathing in the ocean and the space, and bursting with love. Maybe next month I will swim in the waves.

Time to drive back up to the village hall to set up for tonight's dance. I meet Kirstie with her basket of teas and chocolate brownies she brings to share after class. She opens up the hall and we get busy, carrying, lifting, shifting, connecting cables, plugging things in, removing lightbulbs, lighting candles, closing curtains and are just about ready as the dancers begin to arrive. Several new faces tonight, and many familiar ones.

This group that converges on a little village hall in the middle of nowhere on a Saturday night will move and breathe and sweat and connect and laugh and cry and dance dance dance and these bodies will be grateful and we will sit together in a circle and hold each others hands and know we just made magic together, a never-before-seen and never-to-be-repeated act of beauty.

I don't know how it is that I can then get back in my car and drive an hour and three quarters  back home in the dark, but I can, and I'm smiling, and there's something good on radio four:

There's a Japanese poet who says "As I write, I am looking down at the page. When I finish, I look up at the sky"

I'm having a baby! ...oh goddess, I'm having twins!!


Just over one month to go until the birth of my new baby, the new monthly 5 Rhythms® dance for women only in Bristol ......the moondance!! ta dah!!



Inspired as I was by Chloe de Souza's wonderful full moon dances in London, and already well tuned into the moon's cycle by running monthly full moon sweat lodges for women here at home, I decided to start his new venture in Bristol.

I'm nervous about the birth, of course, who wouldn't be? But I have a lovely crew of helpers/midwives and lots of hope and inspiration for the most fabulous, full on dance of celebration for women of all ages and stages... and it's so exciting that our first dance will be on EASTER SUNDAY. I've called this one WILD RESURRECTION, because that is what is this dance practice means to me: it is a way to go for my own "virgin birth" and resurrect my body and my life in my own sacred image, which is truly a RESURRECTION!
Who else will be there that night?

and if that's not enough ... actually .... I'm having TWINS !!!

because full moon is a very special time for me, I am also starting a new journey group for women here at home called MOON SISTERS . This will be a journey in the Sweet Medicine SunDance way, with medicine wheel teachings, ceremony, nature walks, drumming and singing, sharing, caring and reflection. It will be cosy and intimate and a lot of fun. Each meeting will culminate in a deep purification in the sweat lodge. There will be seven of these meetings on Saturdays in 2012, here in the lovely setting of the Somerset Levels.

Moon Sisters on Saturday, Moondance on Sunday

Life is taking on a whole new rhythm . . .

dis-illusion


Hello 2012. got off to a great start. we had a party! well, kind of. it was better than a party. a bunch of great people came round to ours and we hung out, danced a wave, went into the sweat lodge to pray, let go of 2011 and dream forward into 2012, (we were in there at midnight! yay!) then broke out the bubbly and the food. i think fortune is definitely smiling on me this year cos we had an actual bona fide maid in the group who took care of various kitchen chores. thank you yasmyn!

At breakfast on new year's day, one of my friends told me i was her "practice guru". she had read my "practice practice practice" post in here, marveled at my discipline and wondered if she, too, might ever reach my lofty heights. I had to put her straight. That was then, and this is now. I haven't done that practice regime for, like, 3 or 4 weeks now. This is entirely typical of the jeanious and I'm writing today really to put this straight to anyone who might think like my friend did. yes, I do have times where I am really "good" and do my practice regular as clockwork. then, for some reason, usually an interruption in my routine caused by travel, and/or being on a really intense workshop with long hours or something, I stop doing it for a while. Inertia sets in and it will take a while for me to get back into the flow of it. And then it will usually be something different.

I am now officially beyond giving myself a hard time for this! doing practice is its own reward. not doing it is its own punishment. no need to add insult to injury by feeling bad about it! and if I'm in a phase of regular practice, no need to spoil it by feeling self important.

Funny the things that stick in my mind. I remember many years ago, being deeply impacted by something a teacher said. This was (and remains) a person I had masses of respect for. In a circle of students, this teacher said: "I am the most fucked up person that I know". That was a moment of wonderful dis-illusion for me and my world turned upside down ... in a good way! Since then, I find I don't trust anybody who would not be able to say the same thing about him or herself. And, I hope, say it with a smile and a twinkle in the eye!




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